August’s expenses could have been the lowest yet, but every month brings some unique expenses. That is just the way life works. One-time expenses happen almost every month. Especially if you own a home, drive cars, have a yard, are married, have kids, or pets. This month would have dropped below $2,000 but we bought a classic car, and continued the bathroom remodel. That said, I was THRILLED we were under $3000. After almost a year of tracking every single expense, I am loving having more solid info to help us figure out our direction after our yearlong sabbatical.

Back to School $85

I wrote about how growing up poor can have an unexpected impact on your finances. One of the things I have always struggled with was overspending on my kids school clothes. It wasn’t a problem before they were school age. I had no issue putting my baby in hand me downs. But once they entered school, all those feelings of being the kid without any of the cool brands, in yard sale outfits would come flooding back. I would jump onto the OshGosh site and drop $300.

I feel like I am finally making more progress! For the first time I bought 10 pairs of used boys pants from a friend for $20. We used some of the cash we earned from selling off items baby #5 has already outgrown. So it didn’t even hit our budget! And another big first for me, I had the boys reuse their backpacks. We bought nicer backpacks last year with the intention of trying to get 2 years of use out of them. Come school time, I held my ground and didn’t spring for shiny new ones.

All that helped school supplies clock in at $85. A huge win for me!

House Maintenance: $328

Work on the bathroom slowly continued. It can be hard to fit in between the 5 kids, making time for adventures, volunteering, and blogging. I think we have 95% of the supplies now, so the expenses should stop. But I still have some texture and paint to put on the walls and tile to set. We have learned all our DYI skills via YouTube. It takes more time this way, but we are learning skills we leverage in our rental properties. It’s not only profitable for us, but also enjoyable. Who knows one day we might even build a house.

Car Maintenance $714

The classic car came on the scene in August. I outlined all those expense here. This $714 included the car’s permanent registration and plates. Plus initial costs like the car cover, and an initial repair. Mr. Mt took a few hours and replaced the back leaf springs. He has been loving driving his classic around town. He drives it to drop the kids off at school, pick up groceries, and most any other times he can. Our insurance for it runs $17 a month, and I think he gets his money’s worth in fun.

August was a fun and crazy month for us. While we were on our 6 week road trip, a summer intern from our church house sat for us. It was great to be able to help him out. It is SO difficult to find affordable temporary housing in our area during the summer because of peak tourist season. Plus he kept our 7 ducks alive, which was great. He stayed for another 4 weeks after we got home which normally wouldn’t be any issue. But remember how we are still remodeling our bathroom? Yup, 8 people and 1 bathroom. Then we had some awesome friends come and stay with us. They slept in our sweet pop up camper set up in the driveway (It worked amazing as a “guest room”! I love that we will get double use of out the camper.)  But it doesn’t have a bathroom… so add 2 more adults and 3 more kids to our 1 working bathroom! Grand total: 5 adults and 8 kids, we had one HARD working bathroom that week.  We have a “more the merrier” “it will be fine” “we are just so happy you’re are here” kind of attitude. And it was better than fine. We were overjoyed to have everyone!

I suppose I could limit our life because of small square footage, or limited bathrooms. But I would rather laugh about the limitations, and enjoy the abundance of friends, fun and generous living.

Discussion questions:

  1. Do you ever feel limited by your entertaining space?
  2. Have you tried squeezing extra years out of backpacks? It’s it worth the savings?
  3. Are there DYI skills you would love to have?